SAMAHNI VALLEY BHIMBER AZAD KASHMIR


JANDI CHONTRA

Situated at about 1000 meters above sea level, this scenic spot is an eastern gateway to Samani valley. It is 17 km away from Bhimber and 12 km from Samahni town.The famous Baba shadi shaheed shrine is approximately 4 km in the south from here.There are quite a few shops and restaurants, with all types of refreshments available.

Due to the high altitude , this hill station not only gives a panoramic view of Dab valley (an off shoot of the main valley) but it also takes you as far as the snow capped mountains (Pir punjal range) of occupied Kashmir. Although these scenes could be observed with the naked eye, the use of binoculars will have an added advantage.

From Jandichontra a 15 km stretch of road known as Kadiala road offers an alternative route to enter the valley. This road which runs along the mountain ridges and through thick pine trees joins Samahni Mirpur road, in Chowki bazaar.


A downhill view of Dub-Valley from Jandi Chontra

Development near Jandi Chontra

BAGHSAR

Baghsar means a land of water and gardens. This beautiful place is 12 kilometres in the east of Samahni town and a same distance away from Jandichontra. It is famous for its lake and a huge granite built fort known as baghsar fort. Baghsar is said to have been a focal point during and after the Moghul era due to its picturesque locality and calm atmosphere. The water lake has past its prime days and is being swallowed by the mud and other debris thus is in need of the urgent attention from the authorities. Overlooking the lake the Baghsar fort is built at a nearby mountain. There are conflicting opinions among historians as to who built this wonderful fort. Many believe this was the work of Moghul emperors. Some say that it was built by the sikh rulers after they had defeated Raja Sultan Khan the last ruler of Bhimber state in 1812.

There is a very little evidence available about the true history of this fort. According to G.T. Vigne (a frequent traveller between Lahore and Bhimber) this fort was built by Gulab Singh’s brother called Deyhan Singh who was made Raja of Bhimber in 1826. In his book “travel in Kashmir ladakh and Iskardo” vol1 published 1844 he says.

Page 239 “The castle of Amur Gurh (an old name for baghsar) built by Deyhan singh is visible on approaching Bhimber from the plain, upon a ridge six miles distance to the eastward of the village.”

Page 245 “The first march I made was from Bhimber to the village of sumani. The peasants brought me a profusion of wild yellow raspberries. I examined the castle of Amur Gurh through my telescope. It is apparently built on a ridge. It seemed to be of stone and of solid masonry with curtains and towers on a rectangular outline. It is supposed to contain a large treasure and a magazine of arms increased by the cannon that the Raja (Deyhan Singh) had smuggled from his master Ranjeet.”

Another traveller W. Wakefield who visited the area in 1875 writes in his book. “On the summit of a hill, some few miles distance is the castle of Amur Gurh built by an uncle of the present ruler (son of Gulab Singh) and well worthy of inspection if time can be spared.”

[It ought to be kept in mind that the above writers were travellers not professional researchers.]

Some historians believe that emperor Jehangir while returning from Kashmir fell ill and died in this fort, and in order to delay decomposing process his internal organs were removed and buried in this fort before taking his body to Lahore for a permanent burial. The claims of a similar nature however are also made about Chingus sarai near Indian controlled town of Rajouri. If we go by Jehangir’s connection to this place then we will have to trace its roots beyond 1627(Jehangir’s death) and well into the heart of Moghul era. Due to inadequate information and some missing references we are unable to draw a complete picture of this historical site, but despite opposing and controversial views on its origin, this architectural heritage of the Sub Continent is and will remain a constant reminder of our glorious past in the construction field.


Baghsar Fort - Dhian Singh, believed to be the creator of Baghsar Fort
A view of Baghsar fort from different angles
The ruins of Baghsar Fort

SAMAHNI TOWN

Population 1998 census = 1429

The whole Valley Samahni has been named after this historic town. It is 29 km away from district Bhimber and 67 km from Mirpur. It lies in the eastern edge of the valley, a short distance away from the ruins of the ancient Moghul route which linked Bhimber with Noshera and ultimately to the rest of the kashmir. It used to be a centre of social, cultural and trading activities long before the partition of Sub continent. The town consisted of mixed communities of Hindus and Muslims. Both the faiths co-existed with harmony and mutual understanding. Financially Hindus were in a better position then the Muslims. They dominated most of the businesses in the towns; old bazzar which was aprox. 100 meters long with all kinds of shops on its both sides. Hindus had built their temple (Mander) in the heart of the bazzar for worshipping and also for their social events they had two Dharam shala (community center) facilities just out side of the town.Samahni town benefited from some of the best craftsmen in the valley.One can still find the scattered ruines of finely carved stones to remind us of their valuable skills. The town had the valley's only civil dispensary, a post office, and a lower middle school to cater for educational requirements.

In 1947 Samahni town was partially destroyed during a brief invasion by the Indian forces. Since then it has made remarkable achievements to transfer itself into a modern day town.Today the old bazzar has almost disappeared and the new markets have been built instead where all types of businesses are being carried out. Samahni also has the following infrastructure and facilities within its vacinity which refelects the true extent of the progress this town has made.

Different institutes and facilities in Samahni Town:
Degree College Boys
Zakat & Usher Committee Office
Degree college girls
PWD offices
Tehsil HQ Hospital
Habib Bank
S.D.M offices
National Bank
Civil Magistrate court
Sub post office
PWD rest house
Town committee offices
Union council
Girls industrial school
Jamia Mosque
Agricultural department
AEO Offices
Veterinary Hospital

An arial view of Samahni Town (taken from nearby mountain)
Samahni Nala (river)

BABA SHADI SHAHEED (SHRINE)


This is resting place for a 16 century ruler Shadab Khan, descendant of a famous Hindu called Chib Chand who laid the foundation of the Chib dynasty in Bhimber minor state.

Shadab Khan was born around the end of the 15th century. His real name was Shadab Chand. He grew up as a Hindu prince, but during the growing influence of Islam in the Sub continent, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Shadab Khan. He became ruler of Bhimber state after the death of his father Gorpal Chand also known as Goja Chand. As a ruler he showed his true potential and soon became very popular amongst his subjects. His rule was based upon justice, equality and public welfare. For these precise reasons the oppressed people from other states also regarded him as a symbol of hope and migrated into his kingdom in search of peace and harmony. There are a number of stories surrounding his death. One widely believed version is that he was killed by his brother in law while returning to his capital Bhimber after abandoning his fourth wife in Delhi.

Majority of the devotees paying visits to his shrine know him as a great saint. Little do they know that it was due to his ruling qualities he became a legend in history.

Chib Rajput's of today consider themselves to be the direct descendant of Shadab Khan (Baba shadi shaheed). Therefore they take their newly born sons to his shrine to pay homage and perform certain rituals. Over the years this long running tradition has become popular among ordinary people too. Every year thousands of visitors from all over Punjab and Azad Kashmir come here to show their respect in variety of ways.

Baba Shadi Shaheed shrine is managed by the department of Auqaf Azad Jammu and Kashmir generating a huge amount of revenue for its government. It is disappointing to learn that only a fraction of that amount is invested back into the shrine to improve the conditions of the facilities.


Shrine Baba Shadi Shaheed

An internal view of the Shrine

CHOWKI


Population 1998 census = 3849

Chowki is situated 7 km in the west of Samahni town and 35 km from district Bhimber. This is another historic place in the valley. It is believed that the the early Rajas of Bhimber state had built their summer residencies here to escape the heat.There are also suggestions that Gurpal Chand (Goja Chand) the father of Baba Shadi Shaheed has been burried near Chowki in a place called Goja Pir. The ruins of these buildings can be found even today in and around Chowki.

Chowki's main attraction is its bustling market. In the past few years this market has emerged as a home of thriving businesses. These businesses range from ordinary fruit shops to top quality furniture showrooms.The phenomenal success has made this market one of the busiest in the whole valley.

Chowki is linked to Bhimber district through Kadiala road and also through Samahni road. From here a 10 km long road will take you to the panoramic valley of Soona and other areas such as Broah and Danna.

Different institutions and facilities in Chowki:
Boys high School
United bank ltd
Girls degree college
Post office
Police station
Forest rest house
Supply depot
Jamia Mosque
Civil dispensary
Agricultural department

Habib bank


Fruit Stall in Chowki

Goja Peer Tomb, Chowki.

POPULATION


Tehsil Samahni's village population as per 1998 census.

Bandala

4248

Bagh Chagga
268
Sadahabad
2010

Barjah

2072

Bhagsar
1095
Sadhari
1562

Behmla

2694

Barjan
1300
Samahni Town
1429

Bindi

3792

Bindli
1838
Sarnila
1305

Broah

2247

Ghai
2972
Sarsala
2437

Chadron

2172

Chak Sarya/Charali
803
Seri Bandala
1690

Chawalian

1477

Chowki
3849

Chai

3033

Gainan
1022

Darhal Gagan

1471

Gora Ghakaran
1850

Garhoon

1258

Kathyala
1961

Haripur

2167

Khori
682

Kadiala

2434

Kotli Khambha
2528

Kalach

1081

Maloana
3073

Khambah

2120

Manana
1529

Poona

2758

Mehtqa
203

Sandoha

3918

Nehala
2113

Soona

1990

Pandori
484

Tander

3166

Pind Jattan
2287

Thathi Jandala

2290

Ramal
1361

Tonin Khas/thathi

5414

Ramloh
1482

Stumble
Delicious
Technorati
Twitter
Facebook

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Heart beat valley samahni nice place like heaven

kristan watson said...

Travel Guide to Azad Kashmir

Lalit Gupta said...

it was gonly od to read this blog. It certainly gave a background of the Roza of Baba Shadi Shaheed Chib and its surrounding areas

Thanx

Lalit Gupta, Jammu

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Wallpapers And News Blog Copyright © 2010 Designed by Imran Yousaf, Sulman Yousaf